Councils lose rents curb challenge

File photo dated 11/12/13 of a row of terraced houses in south London as banks have rapidly become more dominant in the ultra-low-deposit mortgage market since the Government's flagship Help to Buy scheme was fired into action, according to a financial website. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday February 19, 2014. Traditionally, building societies have held a bigger share of the number of deals on offer for people with a 5% deposit, largely due to banks being more reluctant to offer such products which are seen as being more

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Nine councils in London have lost their High Court challenge against Boris Johnson's plan to relax rules for "affordable rents" in the capital.

A judge said the real issue in the case was "a profound disagreement" between the councils and the London mayor over housing policy and ruled the claim must fail for a number of reasons.
Islington Council, with backing from seven other Labour councils and independent Tower Hamlets, led the bid to overturn an amendment to the London Plan which they believe will squeeze local families out, including those caught by the Government's benefits cap.

At present, council chiefs in central boroughs have been able to restrict rents on social accommodation within new developments to around 40% of the market rent. Under the Mayor's plan, the figure will be raised to 80%.

According to the councils, that would see the weekly rent for a typical three-bed in Holloway rise from £142.57 a week to around £352.

Dismissing the challenge, Mrs Justice Lang said the councils had commissioned evidence "which shows that, if affordable rents are set at or close to 80%, the properties will not be affordable for a large proportion of the eligible households, who have low incomes or are on benefits and subject to the benefits cap".

The judge said all parties agreed that more affordable rented housing was needed in London, at levels below 80% of the market value, but they disagreed on how best to realise that aim.

The judge said the councils wished to have power to introduce local planning policies imposing rent caps below 80%, but the mayor "considers that rent control imposed via the planning system will compromise his policy to maximise the provision of affordable rented homes by rendering delivery of new housing units unviable for developers and registered providers".

Dismissing the legal challenge, the judge ruled: "I consider it is unarguable that the (mayor's) strategy is so misguided or flawed that it will effectively prevent the (councils) from making appropriate provision for affordable rented housing.

"I accept that the strategy may be open to legitimate criticism, but it is plainly within the band on reasonableness."

The mayor was also entitled to conclude that "London represented a single housing market".

Deputy mayor for planning Sir Edward Lister said he was "pleased" with the court ruling but found it "deeply regrettable" that taxpayers' money had been "wasted" in bringing the case to court.

Sir Edward said: "Maximising the delivery of affordable homes in London is the Mayor's top priority.

"Imposing individual rent caps would have significantly constrained financial capacity with the potential to shut down affordable housing supply.

"While I am pleased that the High Court has fully vindicated our position, it is deeply regrettable that taxpayers' money has been wasted bringing this case to court.

"The important thing now is that we all work together to meet London's pressing housing needs."

The most expensive rental property in the UK
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Councils lose rents curb challenge

Audley House, a Grade II Listed Georgian property, is on the rental market for an astonishing £780,000 a year - or £15,000 a week, making one of the UK's most expensive rental properties.

It is estimated the bills will come to a whopping £125,000 a year, on top of the rent.

The six-storey mansion is spread out over 8,346 sq/ft and is worth approximately £35million. 

However, you need not worry about walking up all those flights of stairs as there is a private passenger lift with access to all floors.

The luxurious property is set in the heart of Mayfair.

Comfort cooling, state-of-the-art security and audio-entertainment technology are incorporated throughout the Mayfair mansion. 

The property features five VIP bedrooms suites.

Each of the luxurious bedrooms are decorated in different coloured decor.

At 1,500 sq ft the master bedroom is bigger than the average British home.

The mansion also features four reception rooms,a family kitchen, a gym and private walled gardens.  

The stunning six-storey property comes fully furnished with luxurious furniture, fixtures and fittings and is ready for tenants to move in.

Like all rental properties, interested tenants will be asked to hand over a six week deposit and the first month's rent before they move in. 

The property comes with a five year contract meaning tenants will end up handing over £3.9million to the landlord.


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